Date: 3 Oct 2019
As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Joyous festival of Hindus will be celebrated on Sunday with the burning of a 15-foot-tall effigy of the demon king Ravan at the Hindu Jain Temple in Monroeville.
“All of the Hindu community comes here to celebrate,” said temple president Hitesh Mehta.
The celebration follows Navaratri, nine days of preparation that include the worship of three female gods, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Celebrants hope to refine such virtues as love and compassion as they work to discard ego, Mr Mehta said.
“We plan and we fast and we worship. You are purifying the inner soul during those first nine days. On the 10th day, the bad tendencies are removed.”
Mahendra Shah, 74, was born in the Indian state of Gujarat, north of Mumbai. He is commissioned annually to create the effigy figure for the temple.
Navaratri and Dussehra are highlights of the Hindu calendar, Mr Mehta said. Hinduism embraces the oneness of the earth over the individual ego, he explained. “Trees, humans, dogs, cats, the squirrel in a tree — outside they look different, but inside it is the same.”
The public also is invited to share in the experience, which will include Indian food. Those planning to do so should make a reservation at 724-325-2054 or hindujaintemple.org.